David Beckham’s planned MLS team hires exec Paul McDonough away from Atlanta United

MLS team owner David Beckham signs an autograph during the Miami MLS expansion team announcement at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

MIAMI (AP) — David Beckham’s planned MLS team in Miami has hired an executive.

Paul McDonough will be the still-unnamed Miami club’s sporting director. Atlanta United announced that McDonough’s contract with them will be terminated on Saturday, allowing him to join the Miami group.

Atlanta made the announcement Thursday.

McDonough was Atlanta’s vice president of soccer operations, playing a major role in helping the team become the second expansion club in the last 20 years to make the MLS Cup playoffs in an inaugural season. He joined the Atlanta group in December 2015.

Beckham, a former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star, has been trying to bring a team to Miami for five years. His group has said it hopes to begin play in 2020, though it remains unclear where a stadium will be built.